Earth and Life Sciences
Call for proposals
Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals 2014
The Hague, May 2014 Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
4 5 6
Validity of the call for proposals
Aim Guidelines for applicants
Who can apply
Project consortium, private and public sector partners
What can be applied for
Conditions for matching
When can applications be submitted
Preparing an application
Submitting an application
Contact details and other information 5.1
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Thematic description ‘Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals’
Regulations governing contributions in kind
NWO Framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
1 Chapter 1: Introduction / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
1 Introduction 1.1
Background The Dutch government has designated the Agri&Food sector as one of the Top Sectors. Within the Top Sectors, the business community, knowledge institutions and the government pool finances and content to develop knowledge and innovation. The related arrangements are laid down in innovation contracts, see http://www.tki-agrifood.nl for details concerning the Agri&food sector. The NWOproposition 2014-2015 for the Top Sector Agri&Food provides an overview of activities carried out by NWO in cooperation with this sector. This call is about the relationship between the genetic characteristics and the performance of farm animals under a wide variety of farm conditions and the interaction between nutrition and intestinal health of farm animals. With regard to this topic, NWO wants to join forces with parties in the public and private sectors to stimulate and organize fundamental, pre-competitive scientific research. The content is to be directly related to the demand for knowledge that exists within the business community and society. Given the PPP-like nature of this call for proposals, financial contributions (i.e. matching contributions) are requested form at least one private partner, complemented with one or more additional private and/or public parties if suitable. Selection shall take place on the basis of scientific excellence and the social and economic impact. In this way, NWO is implementing the Top Sector policy. The programme ‘Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals’ is part of the NWO-theme Agro, Food and Horticulture. This call for proposals was prepared in consultation with the Top Sector Agri&Food.
Available budget The total NWO funding budget available for this programme is M€ 3,6. This budget is available for two-year to five-year projects by PhD students and/or postdocs, to be carried out by knowledge institutions in partnership with partners from the private and/or public sectors. The partners have to contribute (match) a sum of at least 30% of the budget required for the project. Matching can be a cash contribution, but may also consist of a combination of cash and in kind contributions (see section 3.4). Part of the programme budget (4%) will be used for networking and valorisation activities.
Validity of the call for proposals This call for proposals is valid until the closing date 16 September 2014, 11:59 hours (CET).
2 Chapter 2: Aim / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
2 Aim In the Dutch livestock farming sector the production location is frequently in an urban setting where high standards are imposed on animal health, animal welfare, public health, the environment and nature. New knowledge is vital to be able to provide high-quality animal proteins for a growing world population and at the same time to limit the negative effects of the production process. The rapid developments in the area of genomics and bioinformatics are starting points for improving the sustainability in animal production chains by means of breeding and nutrition. NWO is using the ‘Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals’ programme to stimulate new fundamental and precompetitive scientific research projects with the aim of strengthening the knowledge base and increasing the usability of knowledge. The research will focus on two themes: 1.
The relationship between the genetic characteristics and the performance of farm animals under a wide variety of farm conditions;
The interaction between nutrition and intestinal health of farm animals.
Further details of the themes and focus areas which applications for research projects must comply with can be found in Annex 6.1
3 Chapter 3: Guidelines for applicants / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
3 Guidelines for applicants 3.1
Who can apply The principal applicant for the project proposal determines which party has to comply with the conditions governing submission and funding. Researchers who have been appointed by any of the research institutes listed below are able to act as the principal applicant:
NWO and KNAW institutes;
Netherlands Cancer Institute;
Biodiversity centre NCB Naturalis;
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen;
researchers at the DUBBLE-beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble.
Principal applicants must: • hold a doctorate and/or be professor; • have a paid appointment for at least the duration of the application process and the research for which the grant is requested. The principal applicant is to submit the application on behalf of the project consortium and is responsible for the scientific cohesion and the results as well as for the financial accounting. In this round, a researcher may submit applications no more than twice, and may only do so once as the principal applicant. This means that he/she can act as the principal applicant for one application and can act as co-applicant for another application, or may act as co-applicant for two different applications.
Project consortium, private and public sector partners The project consortium must consist of at least one research institute and one private sector partner. There must be at least one private sector partner providing funding for the project in addition to the NWO grant for the proposed project. The project consortium may also consist of several private and public sector partners, acting in combination as cofinancing parties. Enterprises are considered to be private sector partners. NWO defines an enterprise as follows: an activity carried out by an organisation or a person that is geared towards participating in the economy, using labour and capital, for the purpose of making a profit. International private sector parties may also participate. Public sector partners are institutions that are not research institutes recognised by NWO (i.e. institutions that are not permitted to submit applications to NWO, such as TNO and DLO) and cannot be classified as a private sector party.
What can be applied for This call for proposals covers projects for PhD students (AIOs) and postdocs. Appointment as part of the project is 2-3 years for postdocs and 4 years for PhD students. Researchers must be appointed to the project for a minimum of two years, working at least 50% part time. The total duration of the overall project, with one or
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more PhD students and/or postdocs, must be at least two years and be no more than five years. It is possible to apply for NWO grants of minimally € 250,000 and maximally up to € 750,000. Given the obligatory matching by private and/or public partners, the NWO financing is maximally 70% of the whole project. Each project is to be described and submitted in its entirety (scientific and financially) including the NWO financed part as well as the matching contribution. The project budget (NWO financing plus cash contribution by partners) can only be used for:
Temporary scientific personnel (PhD student (AIO), postdoc) employed by a public knowledge institution that is part of the project consortium. Personnel costs are funded in accordance with the most recent version of the ‘Agreement on Payment of Costs for Scientific Research’ (‘Akkoord bekostiging wetenschappelijk onderzoek’). A bench fee (€ 5,000) is available from the NWO grant for each PhD student and/or postdoc who is funded by the NWO grant.
Temporary non-academic staff (technician), to support the PhD student and/or postdoc. The Agreement on the Payment of Costs for Scientific Research also applies to them.
Material costs related to spending required in order to perform the research. Costs associated with knowledge transfer, internationalisation, valorisation or instruments for the research may, to a limited extent, be included in the budget to be financed by the grant. Regarding the NWO-financed part of the grant, material costs can never be more than 50%.
Costs related to computers, standard software and other expenses forming part of the standard facilities of the research institute or the partners’ research departments are excluded from the grant, as are the costs of management, supervision, coordination and consultancy.
Conditions for matching In each project consortium matching of at least one private partner is required. On top of this, one or more additional private and/or public partners may be part of the consortium. The private and public sector partners in the project consortium are to make a joint contribution of at least 30% of the overall project costs. Contributions from private and public sector parties may be made cash or in kind. The total contribution in kind, however, must never amount to more than half of the total contribution to a project that is made by the project consortium (i.e. public and private sector partners). The starting value for the covering of the project costs in an application is therefore calculated as follows: 70% grant + 15% cash contribution from partners + 15% in kind contribution from partners. The in kind contribution may represent a smaller share as long as this is compensated by a higher cash contribution such that it brings the ratio of the partners’ contribution to the NWO grant to the required level. Several private and public partners may be involved in a project. Contributions from various partners may be added up. There are no preset rules for who brings in what (type of) share of the costs, as long as the overall matching brings the ratio of the partners’ contribution to the NWO grant to the required level. Cash contributions are to be settled with NWO. Contributions in kind are to be accounted for in arrears. NWO shall accept contributions in kind in the form of person hours worked by personnel or material contributions, such as the use of
5 Chapter 3: Guidelines for applicants / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
specific software and access to facilities. This is on condition that these contributions are capitalised and form an integral part of the project plan. In connection with this, see also Annex 6.2 (Regulations governing contributions in kind). The contributions of the private and public sector partners must be clearly evident from the description of the project, the timetable and the budget presented in the application. Project management, supervision, coordination and consulting services do not count towards the matching contribution. If public sector partners, such as DLO or TNO, wish to contribute their own private sector financing and the associated activities as part of the matching contribution, these may only be put forward as part of the contribution in kind. Each of the contributions to be made by the cofinancing partners for grant matching purposes, must be confirmed in a letter by the relevant partner. This letter must contain an explicit statement of the agreed financial or capitalised contributions in the form of personnel or material support. The amounts stated in the letter must correspond to the amounts stated in the budget presented in the application. The letter must be signed by an authorised member of staff and printed on the partner’s stationery. For each partner a separate letter is to be attached to the completed application as an appendix. Grant applications are approved on condition that the partners set out the arrangements concerning matters such as confidentiality and intellectual property rights in a consortium agreement. This consortium agreement is to be drawn up in accordance with the NWO Framework for PPP (see annex 6.3). A start cannot be made on an approved project until NWO has approved the consortium agreement.
When can applications be submitted The closing date for the submission of proposals is 16 September 2014, 11:59 hours (CET).
Preparing an application Your grant application has three parts: a fact sheet, the application form and one or more letters from partners.
You complete the fact sheet directly in NWO’s electronic application system
Iris. The application form can be found on the grant page for this programme on the NWO website. As soon as you have completed it you can add this form to the Iris fact sheet as a PDF file.
One or more letters in which the consortium partners confirm the nature and value of their contribution/contributions to the project. You can add these letters to the Iris fact sheet as a PDF file.
The application should be in English. Please take into account when preparing your application that it will be read by expert reviewers as well as an assessment committee of a broader composition.
Specific conditions General guidelines and conditions: The ‘NWO regulation on granting’ and the ‘Agreement on Payment of Costs for Scientific Research’ are applicable to applications.
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NWO Code of Conduct regarding Conflict of Interests: The ‘NWO Code of Conduct regarding Conflict of Interests’ applies to all persons and NWO personnel involved in the assessment and decision-making procedure for this call for proposals. Rules for public-private partnerships: NWO, KNAW, TO2, VSNU, Vereniging Hogescholen, VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland have formulated rules for public-private partnerships in the programming and conduction of fundamental and applied research and for intellectual property. This programme is PPS-version 2 (specific form). NWO Framework for Public-Private Partnership (see Annex 6.3): NWO has adopted a framework for public-private partnerships that describes the minimum requirements for consortium agreements. These relate to recording arrangements on the consortium’s governance, finances, publications, intellectual property and liability as well as disputes. The starting points used by NWO with regard to intellectual property (IP) and the transfer of knowledge are described in this framework document (see Framework Public-Private Partnership). When a researcher submits a proposal, the consortium partners need to confirm that they have read the framework document, including NWO’s rules concerning IP and the transfer of knowledge as described in that document. A start cannot be made on an approved project until the consortium partners have concluded a consortium agreement in accordance with the framework document. Start of the project If the proposal is successful, the consortium partners are required to fulfil certain conditions before the project can actually start:
The consortium partners should confirm in writing their cash contribution and payment rhythm by means of a letter to NWO.
The partners in the project that provide a ‘cash’ contribution should transfer the first part of the ‘cash’ contribution to NWO.
The consortium partners have to conclude a consortium agreement in accordance with the NWO framework for public-private partnership (see Annex 6.3).
The consortium partners should send a PIF-form to NWO.
Within half a year after award, the consortium partners must have fulfilled these conditions and the project must have been started by appointing the first PhD or postdoc. If it is not possible to achieve this, the awarded research grant will be withdrawn.
Submitting an application An application can only be submitted to NWO via the electronic application system Iris. Applications not submitted via Iris will not be admitted to the selection procedure. A principal applicant is obliged to submit his/her application via his/her own Iris account. If the principal applicant does not yet have an Iris account, this should be created at least one day before the submission. Then any possible registration problems can still be solved on time. If the principal applicant already has an Iris account then he/she does not need to create a new account to submit a new application. For technical questions, please contact the Iris helpdesk (see section 5.2). Submitting an application requires two steps. In the first step (completing a factsheet) you provide practical information concerning your application. In the second step you add the completed application form and letters of the partners as
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annexes in PDF format. To guarantee proper processing of your application you should not protect the PDF file in any way. It is permitted to mention the names of three persons who may not act as external reviewers for your application (also known as ‘non-referees’). These may be researchers or representatives of private and public parties. You can send the names of any non-references by e-mail to [email protected]
Please include the name of the principal applicant and the title of the application.
8 Chapter 4: Assessment procedure / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
4 Assessment procedure 4.1
Procedure The procedure does not include a pre-proposal stage. An independent assessment committee will be appointed by NWO, comprising renowned independent researchers with a background in the relevant scientific disciplines and representatives from the private and societal sector. The assessment committee shall advise the NWO Earth and Life Sciences Board on the assessment and prioritisation of the applications. Policy considerations, such as achieving a balanced programme and a reasonable spread of projects across the field of research covered by this programme, may play a role in arriving at such advice under the condition that proposals are of equal high quality. The NWO Earth and Life Sciences Board issues a decision to grant or reject the applications. The NWO Code of Conduct regarding Conflict of Interests applies to all persons and relevant NWO personnel involved in the assessment and/or decision-making processes. NWO gives all full proposals a qualification. The qualification will be made known to the researcher in the same letter in which he or she is also informed about NWO's decision whether or not to award funding.
Admissibility of applications The first step is to determine whether applications are admissible. NWO shall not process any applications in cases where one or more of the following apply:
the application was not completed correctly or in full and the applicant failed to comply with the request to submit an corrected application by the relevant deadline;
the application is not in English;
the principal applicant does not fit the description given in section 3.1;
the consortium does not fit the description given in section 3.2;
the matching contribution(s) do not satisfy the conditions laid down in this call for proposals;
the application is not in keeping with the aim and themes of this call for proposals;
the application was not submitted using Iris;
the application was submitted after the deadline;
the project cannot start within six months of the grant being awarded.
In cases where it is possible to correct the application, the applicant shall be given 48 hours to modify the application. If the application is not corrected by the relevant deadline, it shall not be considered. Following its approval, the corrected applications shall be considered. 4.1.2
Assessment of applications Assessment consists of two phases: Phase 1: Assessment by referees and rebuttal.
9 Chapter 4: Assessment procedure / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
At least two foreign referees are to issue an assessment report for each proposal, based on the applicable criteria. Applicants shall be given the opportunity to respond (rebuttal) in writing to the reports of the referees.
Phase 2: Assessment by the committee. The assessment committee shall use the external referee reports and the written responses from applicants to make an independent assessment of each of the applications. The role played by the assessment committee is different from that played by the external referees in that the committee, unlike the referees, is to see all applications, comments from referees and written responses from applicants. For this reason, the assessment committee and the referees may make different assessments. The members of the assessment committee shall discuss all applications during a meeting, using the applicable criteria (see section 4.2) as a basis. The meeting will result in a recommendation on each application and a recommendation regarding the prioritisation of all applications. 4.1.3
Decision The NWO Earth and Life Sciences Board takes a decision about granting based on the advice of the selection committee. The Board has the right not to use the entire budget available, depending on the number and quality of the applications.
Timetable May 2014
Publication of call for proposals
4 June 2014
16 September 2014
Deadline for submitting applications
Applicants are given opportunity to respond to recommendations from referees
Assessment and prioritization of applications by assessment committee
NWO Earth and Life Sciences Board decision to grant or reject the applications
Criteria Applications are to be assessed on the basis of the following criteria: A. Originality and scientific quality; B. Value in economic or societal terms. The two criteria are given equal weight in the assessment procedure and prioritization. NWO makes use of scores on a scale from 1 (excellent) to 9 (unsatisfactory). A separate score is provided for each criterion.
10 Chapter 4: Assessment procedure / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
A. Originality and scientific quality
Originality and innovative nature, potential for excellent, precompetitive, scientific contributions; development of new knowledge/concepts or groundbreaking methods and technologies;
Scientific quality of proposal: objectives, approach and methods, fitness for purpose and feasibility;
Scientific quality of consortium: national and international embedding, publications, expertise, and access to required equipment and facilities.
B. Value in economic or societal terms
Urgency of the proposed research in terms of the scientific reinforcement of the themes described in the call for proposals;
The added value and practical application of the envisaged research results in economic and/or societal terms;
Added value of the public-private partnership: interaction and collaboration between researchers and public and private sector partners in the consortium;
Extent to which the application is in keeping with the aim and themes of this call for proposals (see Annex 6.1).
11 Chapter 5: Contact details and other information / Genetics, nutrition and health of farm animals
5 Contact details and other information 5.1
Specific questions For specific questions about this call for proposals please contact: Dr Bea Pauw, NWO Earth and Life Sciences T: 070-3440734 Email: [email protected]
Technical questions about the electronic application system Iris For technical questions about the use of Iris please contact the Iris helpdesk. Please read the Iris manual before consulting the helpdesk. The Iris helpdesk is available from Monday to Friday from 11.00 to 17.00 hours on +31 900 696 4747. Unfortunately not all foreign phone companies allow you to phone to a 0900 number in the Netherlands. You can also send your question by email to [email protected]
Other information Annexes: 6.1
Thematic description ‘Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals’
Regulations governing contributions in kind
NWO Framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
6 Annexes 6.1
Thematic description ‘Genetics, nutrition and health of agricultural animals’ Introduction In the Dutch livestock farming sector the production location is frequently in an urban setting where high standards are imposed on a ‘licence to produce’. This includes strict requirements with respect to animal health, animal welfare, public health, the environment and nature. Changing circumstances have consequences for animals and the systems in which they are held. New insights based on in-depth interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research are needed for the sector to respond in a timely and adequate manner to such changing circumstances. New knowledge is vital to be able to provide high-quality animal proteins for a growing world population and at the same time to limit the negative effects of the production process. More fundamental knowledge is needed to be able to continuously improve the sustainability (lifespan, robustness, disease resistance, animal welfare, public health and food security) in animal production chains. The rapid developments in the area of genomics (DNA chips, next generation sequencing), bioinformatics, data mining, and phenotyping of complex characteristics are starting points for improving the sustainability by means of breeding and nutrition. With genomics and bioinformatics as a platform the gap can be bridged. The research will focus on two themes: 1.
The relationship between the genetic characteristics and the performance of farm animals under a wide variety of farm conditions.
The interaction between nutrition and intestinal health of farm animals.
These two themes are related to each other because they both make use of the recent developments in the area of genome-wide analysis platforms. Furthermore in both themes, the genetic background of the animals as well as the nutrition are important variables and in both themes animal health and public health play a crucial role. Fundamental research in these two themes will result in a synergistic strengthening of both themes and contribute to the generation of new insights.
1. The relationship between the genetic characteristics and the performance of farm animals under a wide variety of farm conditions In the light of the ‘genomic revolution’ there is a need to use genomics to be able to better predict the production, welfare and health of animals under a wide variety of farm conditions. With this an insight into animal-animal and animal-environment interactions could be an important explanatory factor. On the one hand this strategy demands an improvement in the understanding of the genotype-phenotype relationship. On the other hand breakthroughs are needed so that performance outcomes measured under farm conditions can be translated into selection criteria for animals on breeding farms by means of genomics data. This fundamental knowledge offers the possibility of more effective selection for the desired characteristics of animals so that tailored solutions can be provided for livestock farms with a wide variety of conditions. In addition, the models can be used to measure whether interventions at both an animal and a farm level provide the desired performance outcomes (especially in terms of efficiency, production, welfare, and health). For this research to be realised it is vital that these performance indicators can be measured under farm conditions and that insight is obtained into
which specific farm conditions account for differences in phenotype for a given genotype.
2. The interaction between nutrition and intestinal health of farm animals Here the interaction between microorganisms and the animal under the influence of nutrition and the environment plays a central role. It is becoming increasingly obvious that a balanced intestinal flora is vital for a healthy build-up and maintenance of an animal’s immunity and health. A well-functioning intestinal flora is also vital for a good utilisation of the feed. New knowledge is needed to gain a good understanding of the interaction between the digestive system, microflora and nutrition on the one hand and the production and health of the animal on the other. This knowledge can form the basis for the next generation of nutritional systems (‘customized nutrition’) and other possibilities to improve intestinal health. For animal feed companies it would become possible to develop feeds that can influence the immune competence and consequently robustness of animals. The same applies to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with respect to the development of new pharmaceuticals or biologicals to specifically or aspecifically stimulate immunocompetence. New insights can also be applied to the development of animal testing models with which the effects of various feeds and other stimulating and/or intervening products on the performance outcomes and intestinal and general health of an animal can be better predicted.
Future perspective The challenge for the longer term is to understand the feed-controlled interactions in the animal against the background of the animal’s genetic disposition and the animal-animal and animal-environment interactions. That would allow the different genotypes and environmental and feed conditions to be harmonised with each other for the purpose of a sustainable and healthy livestock sector. The farm conditions are vitally important for supporting animal welfare and animal health. Animal-animal and animal-environment interactions play an important role in this respect, for example in the spread of microorganisms, but also during stressful transitions such as the weaning of piglets, the start of lactation in cattle and the early development after incubation in poultry. All of these major changes form a risk to the health and welfare with clear consequences in the longer term as well. Knowledge about stress sensitivity during transitions can help to explain genotypephenotype relations under different farm situations and also influence microbiota development and the development of immunocompetence in young animals. Optimal farm conditions (such as nutrition) and also disease influence the adaptability of animals. Optimising farm conditions and animal management help to support and shape the adaptability of animals and therefore their robustness. A livestock farm with healthy animals contributes to the safety of food products derived from animals. For the research within the these themes it is important that insights from several perspectives are combined. That will enable the cross-fertilisation necessary to develop the desired new insights. Health aspects that are associated with (the interaction between) genetic background, animal-animal and animal-environment interactions, intervention tools and animal nutrition, can in this way be linked with efficient production and resource efficiency. The challenge in realising this is to develop a balanced knowledge that can be used to support everyday animal management, which is applicable to important and complex characteristics, and will result in animal breeds and feed strategies that can provide reliable and reproducible performance outcomes under a variety of farm conditions.
This knowledge can contribute a sustainable and healthy livestock sector and a new generation of animal feeds and intervention tools that facilitate the health of animals and are better matched to the animals’ needs. Furthermore, the insights obtained can also contribute to an improvement in public health and the acceptance of livestock farming by society.
Regulations governing contributions in kind Definitions Private sector parties Enterprises are considered to be private sector partners. NWO defines an enterprise as follows: an activity carried out by an organisation or a person that is geared towards participating in the economy, using labour and capital, on a permanent basis, for the purpose of making a profit. International private sector parties may also participate. Public and semipublic sector parties Public and semipublic sector partners are institutions that are not research institutions recognised by NWO (i.e. institutions that are not permitted to submit applications to NWO, such as TNO and DLO) and are not classified as a private sector parties.
Rules 1. Possibility for private, public and semipublic sector parties to participate with contributions in kind An external partner (i.e. a private, public and semipublic sector party) usually participates in NWO research programmes by means of a financial contribution to the budget for the programme or project. In NWO projects it is possible for private, public and semipublic sector parties to participate with contributions that are made fully or partially in kind, subject to the following conditions:
The private and public sector partners in the project consortium are to make a joint contribution of at least 30% of the overall project costs in this call. Contributions from private and public sector parties may be made cash or in kind. The total contribution in kind, however, must never amount to more than half of the total contribution to a project that is made by the project consortium (i.e. public and private sector partners). The starting value for the covering of the project costs in an application is therefore calculated as follows: 70% grant + 15% cash contribution from partners + 15% in kind contribution from partners. The in kind contribution may represent a smaller share as long as this is compensated by a higher cash contribution such that it brings the ratio of the partners’ contribution to the NWO grant to the required
level. Cash contributions are to be settled with NWO. Contributions/efforts in kind must be:
Essential for the project,
Included in the budget for research costs, as approved by NWO, contained in the application for the project in which the private, public and/or semipublic sector party is to participate (see clause 3 for contributions to be made in kind),
Come under one of the cost categories referred to in clause 3.
2. Commitment If an external partner is to participate in the research project with a contribution to be made fully or partially in kind, as described above, the private sector party (and, where applicable, the public sector party) is to commit said contribution in kind, plus any financial contribution (cash or otherwise), to the NWO project. 3. Contributions to be made in kind In a research project, private sector parties (and, where applicable, public sector parties) may make contributions in kind in the form of the following costs, as
incurred by the private sector party, if they are directly attributable to the research project (see also clause 1): conditions: Wage costs, on the understanding that the starting point is to be an hourly wage, calculated on the basis of the annual wage for a full time contract as stated in the payslip in the column headed wages for wage tax purposes, plus mark-ups for social insurance charges payable by law or on the basis of individual or collective employment contracts, and based on the assumption of 1650 productive hours per year. This wage may be increased by a mark-up for other general costs, subject to a maximum of 50% of the aforementioned wage costs. The resulting hourly rate to be attributed to the project, including the aforementioned 50% mark-up for general costs, may not exceed € 100. Project management, supervision, coordination and consulting services do not count towards the matching contribution.
Costs of materials to be consumed, resources and software (including licences) that are directly related to the project, based on the original purchase prices.
Use of equipment, machinery and infrastructure:
Costs of purchasing and using equipment, machinery and infrastructure, on the understanding that this is to be based on the depreciation charges to be allocated to the project, calculated on the basis of the original purchase prices and a depreciation period of at least five years; costs of consumables and maintenance during the period of use.
Costs of purchasing and using equipment, machinery and infrastructure not purchased exclusively for the project are only considered contributions to the project, based on the proportion of their use attributable to the project, if there is a completed time sheet available for each piece of machinery or equipment.
Contributions in kind made in the form of discounts on the normal purchase price in the market (list price) for equipment, machinery and infrastructure. The discount must amount to at least 25% of the list price. In this case, the amount to be charged to the project’s budget for equipment is the list price less the discount.
Contributions in kind in the form of making software available.
4. Accounting for contributions in kind Private and public sector parties must account for their contributions in kind by presenting NWO with a statement of the contributed costs no later than three months after the end of the research project to which the contribution in kind relates. The request for the determination of the value of a contribution in kind must be submitted at the same time as the application for the determination of the grant amount by the university partner or partners, and be accompanied by a joint final report. If the contribution in kind to be accounted for is more than € 125,000, an auditor's report must be supplied; in other cases a written statement to the effect that the efforts contributed in kind are actually attributable to the project shall suffice. If the private or public sector party that has committed itself to a research project with a contribution in kind ultimately fails to make, or is unable to account for, all or part of this contribution in kind, NWO shall invoice this party for that part of the contribution in kind which has not yet been made in order that the total contribution commitment is fulfilled.
NWO- Framework for Public – Private Partnership What position has NWO decided on? NWO has been given the statutory task of stimulating new developments in scientific research and encouraging the transfer of knowledge developed from the research it has funded. Such ‘valorisation’ is a tool for creating, promoting or accelerating innovation by means of top quality scientific research. This can be seen explicitly in all areas of the NWO organisation, the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), Technology Foundation STW, the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), the temporary task forces at NWO and the institutes. In order to be able to fulfil this role properly, NWO would in some cases like to have a say in the use of knowledge generated as part of programmes and projects funded by NWO, particularly when the specific objectives of a funding instrument require this, and also depending in part on the position taken by cofinancers. In such cases, NWO will claim ownership or partial ownership of the research results. NWO has not set itself the aim of building a portfolio of patents, nor is generating revenues an aim in itself. The intellectual property (IP) policy is designed to maximise the use of knowledge. In addition, NWO can act as a neutral mediator or trusted third parties as the occasion arises. Once the use and revenues of the relevant knowledge have been arranged properly and responsibly, NWO will stand down as the owner of this knowledge. What knowledge needs to be protected? It is important to distinguish between the ownership of the knowledge that has been developed and the ownership of IP rights to that knowledge. IP rights are acquired either automatically (copyright) or by following an application procedure (patent right). That is why arrangements concerning confidentiality are so important in this context. The process of applying knowledge to create a relevant product (economic or otherwise) involves two kinds of knowledge: The background knowledge is the relevant information that was already known before the project began. Such knowledge can be a factor that partly determines the opportunities for development within the project and also the eventual application of the knowledge that has been developed. The foreground knowledge is the new knowledge gained from the relevant project. The foreground knowledge results in a number of products, such as: publications (to which copyright law applies), data (to which database law applies), patents (to which patent law applies), other undisclosed knowledge. It is therefore relevant to look at potential rights to both the background knowledge and the foreground knowledge in order to protect knowledge generated by a project financed by NWO. Individual arrangements Arrangements concerning knowledge are custom-made arrangements. The possession and use of information, as well as the ownership of IP rights and access rights to IP rights depends on the sector of research, the form that collaboration takes and the way in which it is financed. The parties involved need to make arrangements concerning the background knowledge that is relevant for carrying out the research and utilising the research results but which is not freely available to all parties. In the case of projects that are cofinanced by NWO, individual arrangements concerning ownership and access rights can be made for each programme/project/consortium.
NWO Framework for Public-Private partnership Version dated 25 January 2012 This Framework distinguishes between • a consortium (i.e. all the parties collaborating in a programme) • the legal entity (i.e. the legal form that is selected for the partnership), and • the initial ownership of the intellectual property (IP) rights, which may rest with various configurations of parties participating in the consortium (see section 3, item 5). The Framework does not cover consortiums that operate with European grants or subsidies owing to the specific conditions that can be imposed by the EU. The Framework is, however, fully in line with European rules governing state support. 1. Structure of the Consortium Agreement A consortium agreement includes the following elements as a minimum: A list of the consortium partners and their legal representatives. Preamble providing information about the project and the reasons for entering into a consortium agreement. Also the aims that the signatories to the agreements want to achieve by working together. 1. An article providing definitions of the terms used. 2. An article referring to an appendix containing details of the project plan, the project organisation and other information about the project. 3. An article covering the governance of the consortium. 4. An article covering the finances of the consortium. 5. An article on the release of publications. 6. An article covering how to deal with confidential data and information. 7. An article covering how to deal with intellectual property, to be broken down into background knowledge, research results (foreground knowledge) and the granting of licences, plus an annex setting out the rights, duties and associated deadlines applying to parties in relation to patent applications and patent commercialisation. 8. An article on the exclusion of liability. 9. An article on resolving breaches of contract. 10. An article on amendments to the consortium agreement, including the appendix concerning the project. 11. An article on settling disputes. 12. An article setting out when the consortium agreement is to enter into force and how long it is to remain in effect. 13. An article on dealing with early termination.
Note Re article 3 This article needs to include provisions covering the following as a minimum: the obligations of the consortium partners the exchanging of information and the reporting requirements (both internal and external) the resignation of existing members and the admission of new members Re article 4 One option for this article is to include arrangements on the subcontracting of work to third parties. Re article 11 State that the agreement is governed by the law of the Netherlands. Agreement needs to be reached on which court shall be competent to handle any disputes. One option for this article is to include the possibility of mediation. Re article 12 One option for this article is to include a provision stating which articles are to remain in effect after the agreement expires, and for how long.
2. Details relating to governance The governance of a PPP depends on the PPP’s size and complexity. In its simplest form, a PPP is a university project that receives funding from one public sector provider of grants and is cofinanced by one or more private sector parties. In such cases, the governance of the PPP is determined by the terms and conditions of the public sector provider of grants so long as it and the university (or universities, as appropriate) provide the majority of the funding for the project. If they do not, special arrangements need to be made. In the case of a partnership programme consisting of more than one research project, or a PPP covering several programmes, themes, flagships or similar, several layers of governance may be necessary. The top layer is referred to by terms such as General Assembly, Supervisory Board, Steering Group, Executive Board and the like. At a programme level, terms such as Programme Committee and Flagship Captains are used. The next level down relates to the projects. The duties of the various governance elements are to be laid down in the Consortium Agreement. 3. Details relating to dealing with intellectual property Starting points: 1. The aim of PPPs covered by this Framework is to create or accelerate industrial innovation on the basis of top quality scientific research. The consortium partners will therefore want to use the knowledge and findings generated by the research (foreground knowledge / research results) in products or services at the earliest possible opportunity. The consortium partners are to make this intention concrete by jointly agreeing on an IP process description that sets out the rights, duties and associated deadlines applying to parties in relation to patent applications and patent commercialisation. 2. The knowledge must be able to flow freely, or as freely as possible, within the PPP. Businesses must be able to apply the results as soon as possible and have to deal with a minimum amount of red tape. Time to market is crucial in today’s competitive arena, and it is often much more important than the long-term protection of rapidly developing technologies. In addition, all partners must be able to communicate openly with each other without any need to worry about ideas being 'adopted' unexpectedly. 3. Participating businesses do not have any prior right to use the research results for commercial purposes1. Businesses may only acquire commercial rights to research results by means of a written licensing agreement or a transfer agreement. A fee that is in line with the market is payable for the use or ownership of the research results (‘anti-state support’ clause).
Ownership The following applies with regard to the initial ownership of IP rights (i.e. before licences are granted or ownership is transferred to a commercialising party): i. The consortium is to agree in advance on which party or parties are to be considered co-owner. There are two possibilities: (1) the knowledge institution that employs the inventor or inventors (in the case of patents) or creator or creators (in the case of copyrights), or (2) as (1) plus the business or businesses participating in the project. ii. If NWO acts as public sector provider of grants (either alone or with other parties) in a funding instrument aimed at commercialisation, as referred to in article 33 of the General Provisions forming part of the
Unless the contribution made by a participating business is so high (approximately
100% of the total costs) that it is reasonable for it to acquire ownership rights.
NWO Regulation on Granting, NWO may be the co-owner of the research results2. In practice, whether or not businesses are considered co-owners will depend on their financial contributions to the project. The higher the contribution, the more reason there is for businesses to share in the initial ownership. Appendix 1 contains details of a graduated model that can serve as an example for this. The consortium can only acquire legal ownership if it is a legal entity. NWO's preference is for an existing legal entity (e.g. a knowledge institution or NWO) to be designated to act official secretary, instead of setting up a new legal entity. If it is decided that the consortium is to be a legal entity, the parties must specify in the consortium agreement that the consortium will not build up an IP portfolio itself. In the IP process description referred to in point 1, the consortium is to stipulate how and when the ownership rights to the research results are to be transferred to the participants in the PPP or to third parties (should the participants in the PPP not have any interest). If no third parties can be found, the consortium is to make the results available as open source technology. Transfer and/or licence All businesses and knowledge institutions within the consortium that participate in a project are to evaluate the research results in terms of technical patentability and commercially interesting applications, after which they are to decide whether to apply for a patent or not. The parties are to decide for themselves which party or parties should apply for the patent. The party that is given the lead role must keep the other parties to the project updated on all relevant matters and take decisions in consultation with the other parties to the project. (The above does not apply if the holder of the ownership rights is agreed upon beforehand.) The party or parties submitting the application are to pay the costs associated with the application. Tailored consortium arrangements may be made at a programme level and at higher levels. The partners are to provide the background knowledge and foreground knowledge required to achieve the aim of the project and/or the objective of the programme. Here, too, individual arrangements need to be made. Licensing agreements and transfer agreements must fulfil the following conditions as a minimum:
Licences 8. The consortium partners will have access to all foreground information and background information they require to carry out their own tasks within the consortium until the consortium is terminated. 9. Each party is to grant all other parties a licence for its own foreground knowledge so that these other parties are able to continue to use this knowledge for internal and/or non-commercial research and educational purposes. This is an important licence, since research programmes are often continued in new programmes. 10. If a party contributes background IP and has not made any reservations concerning its availability, it must make a licence available, on the basis of conditions that are in line with the market, to other consortium partners that request this, but only to the extent that this is necessary for the commercial exploitation of the foreground knowledge of that party and only to the extent that this is demonstrably harmful to, or impossible in view of, that party’s other
In their capacity as employer, NWO and FOM own the research results generated
by people in their employ. Technology Foundation STW, considered as a whole, is an example of an instrument aimed at commercialisation.
agreements and interests (commercial or otherwise)3. Arrangements also need to be made concerning the use of background IP for scientific research purposes that are relevant to the project as well as confidentiality in relation to this matter. Fee 11. Interested parties are to pay a fee that is in line with the market for the use or ownership of the research results4. 12. When determining the fee that is in line with the market, the contribution made towards the research is to be taken into account. This contribution may be the financial contribution in cash, but it may also be the contribution in kind, the size of the party in question, numerous inventions, or the percentage contribution to a product, for example. The parties concerned are to determine the price by negotiation. 13. In the case of exclusive rights, the patent charges are payable by the interested party. In the case of non-exclusive rights, the party is to pay part of the patent charges. 14. The fee to be paid is to be determined by negotiation. 15. Income generated by the exploitation of knowledge is to be collected by the party that has assumed the lead role. 16. If the consortium transfers the research results, it is to pay the universities where the inventors work a fee corresponding to 50% of the income generated by the exploitation of knowledge for each patent application that has been transferred, which is to be paid out of the fee that is in line with the market. The internal appropriation and use of this fee is a matter for the individual universities5 17. The other 50% is to remain with the consortium (i.e. it is not to be passed on to the inventors) and is to be used for new or existing research. 18. Assuming that the state support requirements are satisfied, in the case of SMEs that are subject to terms and conditions other than those described above (e.g. those paying royalties instead of making lump-sum payments) a link may be made to the phase the business is in6. 19. The party that acquires the ownership of the research results or the right to use them is to indemnify the consortium against claims from third parties for damage suffered due to the use of the research results.
It may also be the case that a party does now want to make such knowledge
available. This is possible, assuming that this is communicated beforehand. 4
Unless a business or knowledge institution acquires ownership in advance, for
example because this is justified by the level of the contribution. 5
At the three universities of technology the revenues are distributed in three equal
portions: at university level, at an intermediate level (e.g. faculty or research institution), and to the inventor. Technology Foundation STW has individual arrangements with universities in this area. FOM has its own rules on payment in its capacity as the employer of students pursuing doctorates and postdocs 6
All terms and conditions are to be reflected in the price, whether directly or
APPENDIX 1: Graduated model for knowledge ownership rights and rights to use knowledge Research projects with cash contributions In the case of research projects funded by cash contributions made by various public sector and private sector parties, the generally recognised principle that the higher the contribution, the more rights are acquired is to be followed. The starting point for a sliding scale, or ‘graduated model’, of this kind is the situation in which a private sector party funds 100% of the total project costs. In such cases, that party has the ownership. Where a private sector party funds at least 50% of the total project costs, that party has ownership of the results generated by it as well as those generated jointly by it and the public sector party. The public sector party is to have ownership of the results generated by it. In this last case, the public sector party is to provide the private sector party with a non-exclusive right of use, free of charge, which is to include the right to grant sublicences to third parties. In situations where a private sector party funds 25%-50% of the total project costs, the public sector party has ownership of the results that are generated jointly. In the case of all other results, the party that generated the relevant results is to have ownership. The public sector party is to provide a nonexclusive right of use without any right to grant sublicences to third parties. If a private sector party contributes less than 25% of the funding for the total project costs, the principles described above will apply, with the exception that a party is to pay a fee for any non-exclusive right of use. The same principals also apply in the event that parties decide to work together in a TKI (Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation). In such cases, the private sector partners are able to put their cash contributions together in order that they can determine which regime on ownership and rights of use will apply. It is also important to reach prior agreement on which costs are to be considered project costs and which are not. Research projects involving contributions in the form of personnel The parties may agree to collaborate by contributing personnel as part of a project that is to be defined. In that case, the party whose employee generated the results is to have ownership of the results. Generally speaking, ownership of jointly generated results will be considered to be joint ownership unless stipulated otherwise. All parties are to have free access to the results that are owned by the other parties, without having any right to grant sublicences to third parties. Contributions will often be a combination of cash contributions and contributions in kind. In such cases, arrangements will need to be made concerning whether, and if so, how, contributions in kind are to be counted within the graduated model described above. General starting points Parties may at all times negotiate exclusive rights in exchange for a fee that is in line with the market, whereby the contributions made by private sector parties within the project are to be taken into account. Rights of use must be fair and subject to reasonable conditions. Non-exclusive rights of use are not transferrable or exclusive, apply throughout the world and are applicable to parties and their affiliates. The parties are to provide other parties within the project with a right of use, free of charge, to the extent that this is necessary for the project to be carried out. Moreover, the background knowledge (i.e. background IP) is to remain the property of the relevant party. To the extent necessary for the project to be carried out, a party is to provide other parties within the project access to background knowledge under conditions that are fair and reasonable. Elements of background knowledge may be excluded from this if there are reasonable grounds for doing so.
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
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